Submissions are now open for the Circular Accelerator Program that consists of competitive challenges designed to identify and support promising circular businesses and projects.
Applicants are selected for a six-month program to advance their ventures.
Types of Projects
- Upstream Projects: Businesses and projects that prevent waste or improve and expand reuse and repair within Washington.
- NextCycle Washington recognizes that upstream solutions have the greatest potential to create beneficial climate and other environmental outcomes that contribute to building a strong circular economy. However, business models focused on these solutions are nascent and require support and acceleration. By targeting these businesses and projects, NextCycle Washington is committed to catalyzing the growth of the reuse and repair market.
- Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI)
- This project focused on upcycling used wildfire hoses into useable products, creating jobs for immigrant and refugee women while keeping the hoses out of the waste system.
- Community Gearbox
- Community Gearbox is a social, inventory management app that lets users and organizations share, co-own, and mobilize resources amongst people they know and trust.
- OKAPI Reusables
- OKAPI is a reusable cup network that provides cafes an easy way to offer reusable cups to-go. Customers use the OKAPI mobile app to borrow and return cups.
- Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI)
- Downstream Projects: Projects that improve, innovate, or expand material and organic recycling, recovery and end uses.
- Research shows that in Washington there are nearly 4 million tons of recoverable recyclables and organics that currently are disposed of. Targeting these materials and reaching zero waste goals through recycling and composting could lead to 75,000 jobs and over $32 billion in economic output. This also translates to over 5 million tons of reduced CO2, which is equivalent of taking over 1 million cars off the road each year.
- Ravel is focusing on the efficient endless recovery and reuse of blended end-of-life textiles to create like-new materials for the apparel industry.
- Restaurant 2 Garden
- Restaurant 2 Garden transforms food waste from your favorite local restaurants into nutritious fertilizer to grow culturally-appropriate food and continue the circle of life.
- Glass Packaging Institute & Ground2Ground
- The Glass Packaging Institute and Ground2Ground are teaming up to develop an aggregation hub for source-separated glass containers from commercial markets such as wineries, brew houses and restaurants.
The Circular Accelerator Program provides
- Business and Technical Planning Support
- Pitch Development
- Funding Pathway Identification and Matchmaking
- Developing growth plan fundamentals through a multi-day intensive Accelerator Academy
- One-on-one consulting with experienced mentors and subject matter experts to improve and refine business models and project plans
- Attending facilitated networking opportunities to foster collaborations and partnerships
- Engaging with community voices to ensure equitable outcomes and generate grassroots support
- Identifying funding pathways
- Introducing participants to potential investors
- Refining pitch deck to help secure project funding
- Recognition and publicity
Who Should Apply?
- Businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, non-profits, community-based organizations or tribal governments that have investable project ideas with the potential to contribute towards zero waste goals, greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, and equitable outcomes while stimulating the circular economy.
- Cross sector partnerships and existing end markets from out-of-state are eligible to apply.
- Applicants from communities that have been overburdened, under-resourced, or under-represented are encouraged to apply.
- Late-stage startup, early growth, and mature stage projects will be considered.
- Projects must either utilize materials that are otherwise disposed of, provide a higher better use of materials, or focus on waste prevention.
- Project leads do not need to be headquartered in Washington at the time of application, but to be accepted, the project or business idea must be implemented and based in Washington.
- Projects must show the potential to be financially sustainable.
- Projects must consider social equity and community impacts, especially with respect to overburdened communities.
- Projects must consider GHG reduction potential.
- Projects must demonstrate a measurable and/or scalable impact to Washington’s waste diversion/zero waste goals.
- Foundational research and feasibility studies are not eligible. Pilot projects may be considered eligible.
For more information, visit NextCycle Washington.